RDA 12/13 vs DC United, August 19 (Washington, DC)
July 26th, 2012 Pittsburgh, PA - Capping off an intense summer of training with the Riverhounds Development Academy Staff, the RDA 12/13 Boys will take on the DC United Academy 12/13s on August 19th, prior to a DC United Academy vs Richmond Kickers u15/16 US Development Academy match and also the DC United vs Philadelphia Union MLS game. The friendly will offer Pittsburgh’s rising stars a look at some of the nation’s top talent from the DC Metro area, regarded as a soccer ’hotbed’ along the east coast of the United States. This is the second RDA matchup with an MLS club this summer alone, as the Hounds 15/16s took on Philadelphia Union on July 19th in Chester, Pa.
The 12/13’s, who performed extremely well at Richmond’s Ultimate Cup this past February, will use the friendly as an excellent learning experience leading into the 2012 fall outdoor season. The RDA group, with a roster more heavily tilted toward u12s, matched up against true u13s at the Ultimate Cup, beating both McLean out of Virginia and Pa Classics of Eastern Pennsylvania, both members of the US Development Academy Program. The group eventually fell to the Richmond Kickers in the semi-finals of the tournament. The Kickers u13 team boasts several players currently sought after for US National Youth Team opportunities.
The RDA Staff has been very encouraged by the recent form of their 12/13s, who have been working with the Hounds top training staff since early June. The DC United trip will certainly solidify the group’s efforts to perform against the country’s top teams while proving Pittsburgh’s place in such a soccer realm.
Director of Academy Operations, Scott Gibson, feels the groups’ technical abilities will enable them to compete against DC United.
"This group of boys is an extremely talented bunch of players. The experience gained in Richmond, in addition to a few key players returning from injury will allow us to go into Washington DC at full strength. After the recent trip to Philadelphia we are excited to provide another great opportunity for our Academy players to compete against a very gifted outfit in DC United."
As the RDA continues its efforts to provide top level developmental opportunities for its youth players, the Staff will continue fostering relationships with MLS clubs as well as with US Soccer, in an effort to be considered for future acceptance into the US Development Academy. The Riverhounds have made it clear that, despite the challenges involved in this process, all efforts, energies, and investments would be directed toward this major goal for Pittsburgh youth soccer.
Riverhounds CEO, Jason Kutney, says the Hounds are steadfast in their pursuit of elite soccer opportunities for the young players of Western Pa, stressing that it is critical to evolve the game in an area that has struggled for consistent regional success.
"This is about putting egos aside, rolling up sleeves, and putting in the right kind of work to help Western Pa youth soccer players enjoy the same benefits that players in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio enjoy all around us," says Kutney in reference to the absence of a US Development Academy and ECNL club in Pittsburgh. "There are reasons for it not to happen, but we’re looking for the one reason it will happen - we’re determined and persistent enough to work through the challenges."
The Riverhounds Academy received a site visit from US Soccer this past January, resulting in high praise for its efforts to develop techically-sound players. The visit, which offered tremendous insight into what other US Development Academy clubs were doing to help the game of soccer in this country, validated the efforts of the Riverhounds, who have been unwavering in their commitment to possession-style technical soccer since founding The Academy in 2007. In just under six years, The Riverhounds Academy has come to be known as the place for skill development in Pittsburgh and has garnered both national and international attention. With construction of their downtown soccer stadium in Station Square underway, set to open later this year, the future looks aggressive and bright for the growing club.
The Riverhounds Academy - "The Way to Develop"